Risk factors for esophagitis vary depending on the different causes of the disorder.

Reflux esophagitis

Factors that increase the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — and therefore are factors in reflux esophagitis — include the following:

  • Eating immediately before going to bed
  • Dietary factors such as excess alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and mint-flavored foods
  • Excessively large and fatty meals

A number of foods may worsen symptoms of GERD or reflux esophagitis:

  • Tomato-based foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Garlic and onions
  • Chocolate
  • Mint-flavored foods

Eosinophilic esophagitis

Risk factors for eosinophilic esophagitis, or allergy-related esophagitis, may include:

  • A history of certain allergic reactions, including allergic rhinitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis
  • A family history of eosinophilic esophagitis

Drug-induced esophagitis

Factors that may increase the risk of drug-induced esophagitis are generally related to issues that prevent quick and complete passage of a pill into the stomach. These factors include:

  • Swallowing a pill with little or no water
  • Taking drugs while lying down
  • Taking drugs right before sleep, probably due in part to the production of less saliva and swallowing less during sleep
  • Older age, possibly because of age-related changes to the muscles of the esophagus or a decreased production of saliva
  • Large or oddly shaped pills

Infectious esophagitis

Risk factors for infectious esophagitis often relate to medications, such as steroids and antibiotics. People with diabetes also are at increased risk of candida esophagitis in particular.

Other causes of infectious esophagitis may relate to poor immune system function. This may be due to an immune disorder, HIV/AIDS or certain cancers. Also, certain cancer treatments and drugs that block immune system reactions to transplanted organs (immunosuppressants) may increase the risk of infectious esophagitis.

Sep. 13, 2014

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.